04 April, 2006

Discriminating Against Redneck Honkies


Yeah, I know... nothing new. Michelle Malkin has an email that outlines what is essentially a sting operation against people who attend NASCAR and other sporting events. NBC is soliciting people who "appear" Muslim and are willing to be wired to acquire audio and video of what NBC expects will be discriminatory conduct at sporting events.

The irony/hypocrisy of the whole thing is stunning. You can almost hear the producer saying to himself, "Hmmm... topic of anti-Muslim behavior... I know! Let's see if we can get it on tape. Now, where would we go to find a bunch of racists who hate Muslims? I know! Sporting events where there would be a lot of white southerners and midwesterners--especially if they've had a little to drink and are feeling a little rowdy!"

They are looking for men who actually "look Muslim". They want a guy with no foreign accent whatsoever, a good thick beard, an outgoing personality, and someone willing to wear a kufi/skullcap during the filming.

They also want someone who is fairly well accomplished and has contributed to American society at large in some meaningful way.

That said, I'm urgently looking for someone who can be filmed this April 1st weekend at a Nascar event (and other smaller events) in Virginia. NBC is willing to fly in someone and cover their weekend expenses. The filming would take place all day on Saturday and Sunday.
As Captain's Quarters points out, a stadium full of sports fans (many of whom are drinking) is often not a typical of everyday activity and behavior:
Perhaps NBC's Sports Division hasn't explained this to the News Division, but the people who attend sporting events tend to be loud and boisterous, which hardly provides the best example of everyday American activity. The introduction of people looking to cause an event for the hidden cameras -- and they have powerful motivation to push for a confrontation of some sort -- not only makes the entire exercise a waste of time as science, but it also puts people at risk if the confrontation gets out of hand.
I couldn't help but think of what it was like for Arabs and Muslims on my Indiana University campus after 9-11. I'll never forget the woman who sat down in front of me on the campus bus later that week, wearing a stunning embroidered veil. She sat in the corner of the seat, turning slightly sideways, and I watched her make eye contact with the two Middle Eastern-looking men who had been sitting in the sideways seats at the front of the bus. When I complimented her on her veil, she stiffened a bit. I asked her gently how she had been doing lately, and she launched into a defense of her country (Saudi Arabia) and a history of how they had thrown out Bin Laden. I reassured her that I understood and harbored no personal malice, and hoped that she hadn't been hassled. Out of the corner of my eye I saw one of the men in the front of the bus mouth something to her and she gave the slightest shake of her head, "no."

We only had a short trip before I had to get off the bus, so we couldn't talk much. She said some people had been afraid to wear their veils, and other women had arranged to always be in the presence of men who would protect them. She seemed almost embarrassed to say that, and proud to say that she hadn't stopped wearing the veil herself, or asked for any protection. But she said "we were all very scared at first," but told me that she had been treated very well, and there had been no problems with any of her fellow Muslims, as far as she knew.

Outside the campus walls, Bloomington is a typical Midwestern town more Southern than Midwestern (in all good and bad ways). But as far as she knew, not one person had been harrassed for "looking Muslim."

But I'm sure NBC will find some way to get their story and paint white Middle America as the racists NBC knows we really are.

Others blogging this: Dadmanly, Neptunus Lex, Michelle Malkin (update and reaction)